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  • Washington Highlights

    Senators Request Review of Compliance with Stevens Amendment

    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach

    Five Republican senators sent an April 25 letter requesting that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) review compliance with the “Stevens amendment,” a provision in the annual Labor-HHS-Education spending bill that requires grantees – including colleges and universities – to disclose in public statements how much public funding was used to support their projects.

    Pointing to congressional oversight, the senators express concern that “not all agencies and grant recipients are abiding” by the law. They state, “we have found most of the documents and statements issued by the recipients of federal funds from [the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education and related agencies] reviewed by our offices did not disclose the costs.”

    The letter, signed by Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Rand Paul, MD, (R-Ky.), asks GAO to review:

    • Whether federal departments and agencies are offering guidance and/or enforcing compliance with the provision;
    • The percentage of grantees at each department that “are complying in full”; and
    • The methods being used to report the federal contribution, including whether “indirect costs are factored into these calculations.”

    The “Stevens amendment” was originally included in the fiscal year (FY) 1989 spending bill as an amendment offered by the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).